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How much does ride quality change betweeen 16" and 17" tires on T5 AWD? Is it much harsher in general freeway driving? <p>Thanks!
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (treacherous)

I find the 16's much more comfortable, and pretty much just as good handling-wise. The rubber's a lot cheaper too, when it comes time to replace.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (tmtalpey)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>tmtalpey</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I find the 16's much more comfortable, and pretty much just as good handling-wise. The rubber's a lot cheaper too, when it comes time to replace.<p>Tom.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I upgraded my last car from 15s to 17s and found *dramatic* improvements in handling, and much less significant decrease in comfort. The 15s were bouncy, while the 17s have much less sidewall and seemed to make the ride feel more controlled. Results while changing from 16" to 17" may be less noticeable, but I'd have to guess that there would be a reasonably good improvement in handling.<p>Costs of replacing tires should be basically irrelevant. I got my last set of 17s for $400, total. You can spend double or triple that on 15s or 16 or 17s. Either way, you probably only replace your tires once every 2 or 3 years (unless you drive a lot more / harder than average). 16" tires are probably less expensive on average, but based on your choice in cars I'm pretty sure you can afford an extra $100 for tires every other year. <p>The ride on 17 wheels will be more harsh to some degree. The S40/V50 use 215/50 (taller sidewall) tires rather than 215/45, which I think is the more common sidewall, so that should make our cars a little more comfortable than others when fitted with 17s. My V50 certainly has a softer/more comfortable ride than my lowered Passat had. Your results may vary, but given that Volvo sells our cars with 17s, it seems like the ride should still be pretty acceptable for most drivers. It certainly is for me.<p>So why are you thinking about getting 17" wheels?
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (GoBigRed)

Well, I disagree with every "probably" and "maybe" you wrote. But buying tires is like buying shoes, which is why they come in so many sizes and styles.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (tmtalpey)

I agree Tom. Wife & I test drove a T5 w/ Dynamic Sport package and I thought the ride was bordering on brutally rough on some sections of highway. When I get bounced around WORSE in a compact 4-door sedan than I do in My 3/4 ton 4WD pickup That's a rough ride! My T5 with 16" tires without the spoilers & stiffer springs/shocks rides noticably better than the car We test drove..... but I still don't consider it a "Smooth Ride"
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (POWERSTROKE)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>POWERSTROKE</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I agree Tom. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>I also agree with Tom.<p>The issue with ride quality discussions is that it is so subjective. I have seen some people here describe the S40/V50 sports suspension as being very compliant and comfortable. I would describe my V50 AWD with 16 inch wheels as firm to the point I wouldn't want to tolerate any further degradation in ride quality for a daily driver.<p>I did 1000 miles plus in a V50 loaner with 17 inch wheels and noticed a marked difference in ride comfort. I didn't see an equivalent increase in handling but I think that is more to do with the fact that the loaner was FWD and my car is AWD.<p>UKMatt
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (ukmatt)

Ride quality? I think , with the stock 205 55 16s was soft, but even lowered 1.3" with 235 40 18s isn't harsh, a tad more stift but not harsh. This is probably a matter of opinion, but IMO, for our cars 16s = too small, <br>17s= a little small and 18s= just right. 17-18s being very close. It's tough trying to decide between a 17 and 18, but no choice between 16 and 17, go with 17 and 225 45 17.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (V50_T5)

Something to bear in mind re ride quality is the suspension type, which differs by the car's base model, the dynamic sport option, and AWD. And of course, the spring rates are different between the S40 and the V50. There are literally dozens of stock springs for these cars.<p>To make things even more confusing, there are actually three suspensions, comfort, sport and dynamic. The differences also include the sway bars, there are a few of those too.<p>Here's what I have - V50, T5, AWD, stock 16" Clavas. Love it. I upgraded the rear sway bar to IPD's, and the tires to Michelin Pilot Sport All Season.<p>Here's what I test drove and didn't like: V50, T5, dynamic, FWD, 17" Sagittas. Found it much too hard for my taste, and for year-round driving on snow etc.<p>To each one's own, but be sure yours is (or isn't) the same!<p>Tom.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (tmtalpey)

OK Tom , <p> my other cars actually hurt some peoples eye sockets when I hit bumps , but seriously in your opinion how do you like the IPD rear bar? I've got a lowered fwd with frt brace and been concidering this for a while.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (V50_T5)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>V50_T5</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Ride quality? I think , with the stock 205 55 16s was soft, but even lowered 1.3" with 235 40 18s isn't harsh, a tad more stift but not harsh. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>And we're just going to have to agree to disagree <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> - "soft" is not a word I would EVER associate with the stock AWD setup with 16s. I think the fact that you find a lowered vehicle with 40 profile tires "a tad more stiff" means that you and I have distinctly different definitions of what is soft, what is stiff and what is harsh!<p>UKMatt
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (ukmatt)

UK Matt, <p> nicely said. and I agree. I'm probably more on the as long as it doesn't actually hurt my eyesockets it's OK side. and for this reason think everything is "TOO soft" or think things are acceptable when in reality are probalbly for 90 % too harsh. so yes , for me is still OK but can now understand that this could be too harsh for some. <p> once again, nicely said UK,<p>
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (V50_T5)

My first car was a 1970 Chevy Nova 2-door....Had a small block & 3-on-the-floor w/Hurst Sifter....Headers..... so it sounded cool...Rally Wheels. I broke a spring eye on one of Chevy's dumber ideas..... The MONObeam rear springs and replaced them with 4-leaf springs that were just a tad stiffer.... Toss in My air shocks on the back to give the car that proper "RAKE" and as the suspension Guy said after aligning the car and test driving it, "Thats the roughest riding car I've ever seen!" Just because He & I could feel every stone larger than 1/4 inch on the pavement I don't know what His problem was.... But that was almost 35 yrs ago.... So I've had things both ways, and stiffly sprung & shocked cars tend to also break more often on today's terrible roads. They just get beat to death! and fall apart.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (V50_T5)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>V50_T5</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">how do you like the IPD rear bar? I've got a lowered fwd with frt brace and been concidering this for a while. </TD></TR></TABLE><br>I like it. It doesn't affect the ride at all, but it flattens out the rear in corners and gives a nicer turn-in. It balances the car a bit better. It's a very worthwhile upgrade.<p>Be advised it's really not a lot bigger than the "dynamic" bar. As I had that to begin with, I would like it to be a bit stiffer, to tell the truth.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (tmtalpey)

I'm not one to overdramatization, but I would say to V50_T5 that the IPD rear sway bar is a GREAT addition. It's cheap and easy to install. And even though TmTalpey always talks reason, I beg for once to differ slightly with him.<p>The straight ahead ride got stiffer, by some small but noticeable amount. In theory it shoudn't, so perhaps the beat-up roads here are not so smooth. I REALLY LIKE the straight ahead ride added stiffness. It was immediately perceptible. This all way before I changed wheels/tires.<p>As far as turning the car, this is going to sound strange and some people may not believe me, but I can feel the "dog pissing on the fire hydrant" effect in the rear of the car in turns. The rear of the car does not roll. So to conserve momentum, the rear wheels "anti"-role. I can feel this much more than with the stock bar. It's a GREAT feeling. My butt and lower back sympathetically anti-sway with the car. Even though this car is certainly no Evolution IX, it really does like to turn around now, as though turning through the turn is fun rather than a big effort for the FWD. It's much better than stock.<p>So in summary, I will not be so dramatic as to say that the IPD rear swaybar makes this car into a Ferrari. But I definitely promote it - it's cheap and highly effective.<p>Ride quality? Personally, it does seem to be a bit stiffer in straightaways as I mentioned above. The stiffer swaybar makes turning easier, so in a way improves the ride. Much less sloshing around of the car bulk.<p><br>Bassman<br>
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (bassman)

Trust me, the outside wheel ain't lifting! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0"> But a stiffer rear bar can transmit more road noise, because forces on one wheel are transmitted to the other. If you drive on highly crowned roads, or with poor pavement on one side this might be perceptible.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (ukmatt)

Interesting thread... I have a V50 AWD with 17" Sagittas and I don't find the ride "stiff" or "jarring" at all. And that's driving on rutted and potholed Canadian roads! I was even thinking of going to 18" Medusas but I'm giving that a second though because of the cost of 17" snow tires, not the impact on ride quality.<p>So yes, ride quality is probably *very* subjective!
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (Dede)

Tom, you're right - the wheel/tire is not coming off the road in my normal driving. The weight shift with the outside tire getting more pressed down and the inside getting less pressed down is noticeable, however.<p>I agree with Dede. It is subjective - differing opinions about the same thing. It depends on what you want. <p>I noticed in the mass market reviews of the S40 T5 AWD that many of the "exerpt" reviewers complain that the T5 AWD ride is harsh. Why do they say that? First, from my own experience, it IS harsher than the competitors (WRX, Audi A3, TSX, G35, etc.) (my opinion, only). Second, the reviewers of "premium compact" cars are looking for something sporty but luxurious. So what that means is they're looking for something luxurious that has some power. When the springs and shocks are a bit rough, it somehow moves outside what they think the car is supposed to feel like.<p>The very added harshness that displeases mass market reviewers is a factor that drew me TO the S40/V50 cars. I really like the AWD + 17" Sculptors suspension (even before the IPD swaybar and new wheels/tires).<p>So it is all subjective. What do you expect in a car? What do you want? One person's too stiff suspension is another person's dream ride.<p>
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (bassman)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>bassman</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>So it is all subjective. What do you expect in a car? What do you want? One person's too stiff suspension is another person's dream ride.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>It is all subjective but I think readers would be able to determine the value the offered opinions if we were to give a bit more information about our frame of reference (and perhaps those asking could do the same!).<p>I travel for business every week - my last four rental cars were an 07 Camry, an 06 Camry, an 06 Taurus and an 06 Mazda 6. Compared with all of those (and those are the some of the best selling cars in America) the S40/V50 with sports suspension is a go-kart with a rough ride. <p>If your other cars are lowered, running on 19s with 35 profile rubber and the hardest settings on their adjustable dampers, the S40/V50 is probably plush as a feather bed.<p>It is all subjective but posters can frame their answers to help the readers.<p>UKMatt<p>
 

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Re: Ride quality between 16" and 17" tires (ukmatt)

Ok then, how 'bout the perspective coming from journos comparing an S40 T5 AWD riding on 17" Sagittas with an Audi A4, a BMW 325ix, a G35x, Lexus IS 250, Mazdaspeed6, and a Legacy 2.5 GT ?<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br><i><br>The main problem with the S40 T5 AWD is in the communication department — it feels like there is a layer of fluff between the chassis and body, the suspension and the steering. Although it is the second lightest of the group with a 3480-lb. curb weight (the Subaru is the lightest, at 3390), and feels light, its steering and handling are vague, which left Senior Editor Kim Wolfkill "always a half step behind, and never sure how much the car wants to actually finish going around corners." We would have ordered the S40 with the Dynamic Sport Suspension option, but the T5 AWD already comes with it. Which leaves the S40 with what we've now coined the "Scandinavian Float," the Swedish version of the wallowy ride that affects so many American luxury cars. We were also disturbed stylistically by the S40's ungainly ride height; maybe it's good off-road?<br></i><br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Source: <A HREF="http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=31&article_id=3280&page_number=2" TARGET="_blank">http://www.roadandtrack.com/ar...ber=2</A><p><br>So there ya go. Scandinavian float they say. Can a car have a ride that is harsh and "floaty" ??
 
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